The National Share Mike Mills-Directed “I Am Easy to Find” Short Film Starring Alicia Vikander | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

The National Share Mike Mills-Directed “I Am Easy to Find” Short Film Starring Alicia Vikander

Band Also Share Videos of Two Commentary Tracks and a Live Q&A Hosted by Julien Baker

May 13, 2019
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The National are releasing a new album, I Am Easy to Find, which is accompanied by a 24-minute short film directed by Mike Mills and starring Oscar-winning Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, this Friday (May 17) via 4AD. Now they have shared the full short film several days early. You can stream it below. They have also released two separate commentary videos on the film, one by Mills and one by frontman Matt Berninger and his wife (and lyric co-writer) Carin Besser. And there is also a video of a live Q&A in New York about the film featuring Mills and the band, hosted by Julien Baker. All those videos are below too.

Previously The National shared I Am Easy to Find's first single, "You Had Your Soul with You" (which features guest vocals from David Bowie collaborator Gail Ann Dorsey and was our #1 Song of the Week), as well as a trailer for the film. Then they shared another song from the album, closing track "Light Years," via a video made up of footage from the film, with Vikander playing a woman seen through the years, from childhood to motherhood. "Light Years" was also one of our Songs of the Week.

Then they shared another song from it, "Hairpin Turns," via a Mills-directed black & white video for the track that doesn't feature footage from the short film, but instead showcases the band performing the song in a stark white space. The song features Gail Ann Dorsey and Lisa Hannigan and the video features vocalists Dorsey, Mina Tindle (aka Pauline Delasser), and Kate Stables (of This Is the Kit). "Hairpin Turns" was our #1 Song of the Week.

The album also features vocal contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Mina Tindle, and more.

"Yes, there are a lot of women singing on this, but it wasn't because, 'Oh, let's have more women's voices,'" said frontman Matt Berninger in a previous press release. "It was more, 'Let's have more of a fabric of people's identities.' It would have been better to have had other male singers, but my ego wouldn't let that happen."

The project came together when Mills, who has directed iconic music videos and feature films such as 20th Century Women and Beginners, approached Berninger in September 2017 about collaborating together. Instead of just having Mills make a music video or two for them, they decided to get him much further involved in the album, so much so that Mills co-produced with the band. The album was recorded in Long Pond, Hudson Valley, NY, with additional sessions in Paris, Berlin, Cincinnati, Austin, Dublin, Brooklyn, and elsewhere.

The previous press release further explained the project and the relationship between the film and album: "The result is I Am Easy to Find, a 24-minute film by Mills starring Alicia Vikander, and I Am Easy to Find, a 68-minute album by The National. The former is not the video for the latter; the latter is not the soundtrack to the former. The two projects are, as Mills calls them, 'Playfully hostile siblings that love to steal from each other' - they share music and words and DNA and impulses and a vision about what it means to be human in 2019, but don't necessarily need one another. The movie was composed like a piece of music; the music was assembled like a film, by a film director. The frontman and natural focal point was deliberately and dramatically sidestaged in favor of a variety of female voices, nearly all of whom have long been in the group's orbit. It is unlike anything either artist has ever attempted and also totally in line with how they've created for much of their careers."

The National released their excellent last album album, Sleep Well Beast, in September 2017 via 4AD. It was our Album of the Week and #7 on our Top 100 Albums of 2017 list.

Read our 2018 interview with The National.

Read our 2017 interview with The National on Sleep Well Beast.

Read our rave 9/10 review of Sleep Well Beast.

Read our 2012 interview with Alicia Vikander, as well as our 2015 interview with her.

The National Tour Dates:

5/16 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
6/11 - Philadelphia, PA @ Mann Center*
6/12 - Brooklyn, NY @ Prospect Park Bandshell*
6/13 - Brooklyn, NY @ Prospect Park Bandshell*
6/15 - Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo
6/16 - Atlanta, GA @ Coca-Cola Roxy*
6/17 - St Augustine, FL @ St Augustine Amphitheatre*
6/19 - Washington, DC @ The Anthem*
6/20 - Portland, ME @ Thompson's Point*
6/21 - Montreal, QC @ Place des Arts
6/22 - Hamilton, ON @ Pier 8**
6/24 - Columbus, OH @ Express Live*
6/25 - Ann Arbor, MI @ Hill Auditorium*
6/26 - Indianapolis, IN @ Lawn at White River*
6/28 - Chicago, IL @ Northerly Island**
7/10 - Manchester, UK @ Castlefield Bowl
7/12 - Madrid, ES @ Mad Cool Festival
7/13 - London, UK @ Hyde Park
7/15 - Frankfurt, DE @ Jahrhunderthalle
7/16 - Hamburg, DE @ Stadtpark
7/18 - Rättvik, SE @ Dalhalla
8/4 - Waterford, IE @ All Together Now
8/6 - Glasgow, UK @ Summer Nights at the Bandstand
8/7 - Glasgow, UK @ Summer Nights at the Bandstand
8/9 - Sicily, IT @ Ypsigrock
8/10 - Budapest, HU @ Sziget Festival
8/11 - Buftea, RO @ Summer Well
8/14 - Paredes de Coura, PT @ Paredes de Coura
8/16 - Hasselt, BE @ Pukkelpop
8/16 -- 8/18 -  Biddinghuizen, NL @ Lowlands
8/18 - Hasselt, BE @ Pukkelpop
8/28 - Vancouver, BC @ Deer Lake Park**
8/29 - Seattle, WA @ Marymoor Park**
8/30 - Portland, OR @ Edgefield**
9/1 - Stanford, CA @ Frost Amphitheater**
9/2 - Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre**
9/3 - Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre**
9/5 - Ogden, UT @ Ogden Amphitheater**
9/6 - Denver, CO @ Mission Ballroom**
9/7 - Denver, CO @ Mission Ballroom**
9/8 - Santa Fe, NM @ Santa Fe Opera House**
9/10 - Austin, TX @ Austin360 Amphitheatre**
9/11 -  Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall**
10/16 - Mexico City, MX @ Pepsi Center
10/24 - Boston, MA @ Agganis Arena
11/25 - Warsaw, PL @ Torwar Hall
11/26 - Berlin, DE @ Columbiahalle
11/27 - Berlin, DE @ Columbiahalle
11/29 - Copenhagen, DK @ Royal Arena
12/1 - Bochum, DE @ Ruhrcongress
12/2 - Cologne, DE @ Palladium
12/3 - Zurich, SW @ Samsung Hall
12/4 - Munich, DE @ Zenith
12/5 - Stuttgart, DE @ Porsche Arena

*w/ Courtney Barnett
**w/ Alvvays

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GoApkDown
May 13th 2019
10:33am

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